In this month’s Touching Base, Toy World asked suppliers how they are backing up Toymaster members and other retailers as they welcome customers back instore.
Everyone we spoke to recognised the tough times indie retail has had recently, whether choosing to shutter during lockdown, or having pivoted to offer online, click and collect orders or delivery. They were all keen to stress the importance of the relationship between retailer and supplier, and detailed how each company is offering support as stores reopen and work their way through the transition period following restrictions being eased.
Ross Bradley of Wilton Bradley told us that ensuring retailers receive stock in a timely manner to help meet the uplift in consumer demand, is key to the company’s ongoing relationship with its retailers. Echoing the need for smooth and hassle free supply of stock, Nigel Deacon described how Kids International Marketing has teamed up with established UK distributor Cuckoo, enabling delivered prices to be more attractive, and ensuring availability on quick turnaround at all times. The company has added three new brands to its portfolio, and the wider offering has brought down the MOQ per line significantly.
Vijay Advani stressed Amaroni’s ongoing priority and focus to sustain independent retail partner support. He told us that the company is working hard to ensure retail partners have access to a steady, continuous flow of stock arriving in the UK. Online and interactive catalogues showcase Haba toys and games and complement the other marketing assets provided to help retailers. Simon Willott at Hornby spoke highly of the company’s sales team which has offered especial support and assistance to retailers that have been unable to trade during lockdown and are now reopening.
Waboba’s Jordan Sullivan was enthusiastic about the company’s recent launch of spring/summer impulse items, with special Q4 product launches, promotions, and limited releases to follow, designed to keep momentum going throughout the year. Simon Prest at Orchard Toys also promised promotions throughout the year to support retailers, while at Geomagworld, Clive Wooster revealed that a promotional package featuring bestsellers has been put together to help indies get back into stock, and will be augmented by a pre-Christmas version later. Clive also stressed the need for flexibility, with low carriage paid terms meaning that ordering little and often is easy.
Also tailoring ranges to suit indies, Rob Eatwell told us that Cheatwell Games has invested heavily in pocket money ranges, specifically designed with independent customers in mind, as well as focusing on travel games and value-for-money puzzles that are expected to be in demand. Cheatwell’s carriage paid order value has also been lowered for the remainder of the year. Meanwhile, Chris Lohmeyer told us about DKB Toys & Distribution’s new website and registration portal, designed to make it easy for retailers to get everything they need, all in one place.
At Playmobil, Adam Moore highlighted the striking in-store point of sale available to retailers, as well as a dedicated display and merchandising team that can create striking looking areas and provide large figure characters; a fan favourite for taking selfies.
The above are just a few examples of the many ways that these suppliers are offering support to their retail partners. To read more, see the full article, which appeared in the May edition of Toy World, by clicking here.